Blog

The Successful Character of Professional Screenwriting

The aspiring screenwriter understands how we should behave when we meet people in a business environment. Treating producers, managers, lawyers, cast, and crew with respect and grace goes a long way to advancing your career.  But what is the successful character of professional screenwriting? Writers often focus on the technical aspects of writing a pilot […]

4 Reasons Writers Write Movies and Not Television

There is a significant debate over whether to write for television or write movies instead. We are in a new golden age of television — peak TV. And we can all agree movies are not in a classic period of cinema.  Many writers have gravitated to writing for television, inspired by the great stories they watch […]

Raising the Stakes: What, Why, When and How

Have you ever received feedback on your script that included the suggestion to “raise the stakes”? It’s a common note—-raising the stakes. Do you know what it means? At first glance, we would think the reader is telling us to make what’s at stake for your characters greater. But what is that?   Raising the […]

Writer’s Block: The 4 Ways to Keep Rewriting

Writer’s block is not a mysterious condition that a wizard creates for writers. It’s not a magic spell with no way out. Getting stuck as a writer, be it in the first draft or 10th, can be very difficult to face for writers, but the solutions to your problems are not difficult or mysterious. Writing is […]

The Original Screenplay Idea Blog

The “Original” Screenplay Idea: Taking Your Idea Further

How often do we hear, “There’s nothing new under the sun” or “Hollywood is just plain out of new ideas”? And yet, how often do we find ourselves, as movie-goers (more specifically, writers that happen to be movie-goers), pleasantly surprised when the movie we’ve just experienced felt “different,” thoroughly entertained us, and was actually good? […]

How to Write Comedy for Action

Nothing makes an action-adventure film pop quite like a well-timed joke. Whether it’s John McClane quipping while crawling through air vents or a killer robot from the future learning how to smile, a properly placed joke helps add dimensions to an action story and makes the adventure side of action-adventure more fun. But sometimes, you […]

Top Ten Questions Short Filmmakers Always Ask

Short filmmakers run into a number of challenges when they start off to make a short film. Some are hesitant to get started because they’ve never made a short film before, even if they’ve written a feature script or a television pilot. How is making a short film different? What makes it difficult? Why should someone […]

Demystifying Screenplay Concept and Theme

A fun sit-down with Gordy Hoffman, founder and judge of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, answering questions from up and coming filmmakers and screenwriters. In this episode, Gordy tackles the difference between screenplay concept and theme.  Chase the idea.   It’s hard to define a difference between concept and theme. Some writers like to come up […]

Query Letter Blog

How to Write a Query Letter As Good As Your Screenplay

Query letter. The very sound of those two words sends many a writer spiraling into an ocean of sad panic. Like no matter what you write it’s not going to sound right and why try anyway?  Do query letters work? There are a lot of people that will tell you that unsolicited emails sent blindly […]

Advancing Your Middle Act

A fun sit-down with Gordy Hoffman, founder and judge of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, answering questions from up and coming filmmakers and screenwriters. In this episode, Gordy discusses the Middle Act and how to improve it. Learn your story.   One of the main reasons people get stuck in the middle act of their scripts […]

How to Receive Feedback Without Dying

Receiving feedback on your script is often frightening. Waiting to hear what someone thinks can be awful in and of itself. Why did you even give it to this person? What a stupid idea. Why are they taking so long? It must be awful. Why did I want to receive feedback on something I wrote? […]

Reddit AMA with Gordy Hoffman

Gordy Hoffman, Founder and Judge of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, dropped by the Screenwriting subreddit for an AMA on all things screenwriting. Below are some of the highlights from the discussion. The full AMA can be found here. The best way to go from being an unknown to a commodity in screenwriting: Gordy: Write the […]

The Dave Bullis Podcast: Gordy Hoffman Explains How to Take Notes on Your Script

In this episode of The Dave Bullis Podcast, Gordy Hoffman, Founder and Judge of BlueCat, elaborates on what it is like to be an educator in the screenwriting world. Gordy, who has taught screenwriting classes at USC & UCLA, in addition to offering his own courses, talks about the delicate task of how to receive […]

Where to Submit Your First Short Film

A fun sit-down with Gordy Hoffman, founder and judge of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, answering questions from up and coming filmmakers and screenwriters. In this episode, Gordy discusses where to submit your first short film. Don’t stop there.   Congratulations! You’ve completed your first short film. And now you want people to see it. There […]

How to Write Great Characters

The stories we love begin with characters we love. Audiences seek stories that provide meaning to the emotional struggles of life. This identification begins with people living life, with all its challenges. Why do people pay money to sit in a dark room to watch people act out life? To help them understand their existence. […]

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson, one of America’s greatest living filmmakers, recently made rounds on social media to promote his new film Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in his final screen performance, Lesley Manville, and Vicky Krieps. He participated in an AMA on reddit and answered questions on Twitter, providing insight into his creative decisions, favorite films, and advice […]

How to Connect with Literary Managers and Agents

A fun sit-down with Gordy Hoffman, founder and judge of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, answering questions from up and coming filmmakers and screenwriters. In this episode, Gordy talks about connecting with literary managers and agents.  Be persistent and be professional.  Every screenwriter wants a literary manager or agent but you should never show up to […]

Listen to Gordy Hoffman on Making Movies is Hard

In this episode of Making Movies is Hard, Gordy Hoffman, Founder and Judge of BlueCat, discusses how a screenplay competition works and how it can launch careers.   Gordy says BlueCat has grown into its status as a premier screenplay competition because we give written analysis to every entered submission at no additional charge. This practice […]

How To Weave Exposition Into Your Screenplay

A fun sit-down with Gordy Hoffman, founder and judge of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, answering questions from up and coming filmmakers and screenwriters. In this episode, Gordy discusses exposition and how to make it flow naturally through your story.  Be patient.   Too often, writers are impatient with their exposition. Do this by page 5. […]

Short Screenplay Challenge

  Take the BlueCat Short Screenplay Challenge!      THE CHALLENGE: Write an entire short screenplay over the MLK holiday weekend:   January 13-15, 2018.   BlueCat is encouraging all writers to create an original short screenplay over the holiday weekend. You can write on any topic you like! There are no genre restrictions! You […]